Alright, so you’ve mastered the process of owning who you are, or you’re in the baby stages of finding out what that means to you. Congrats! Now onto the hard stuff.
Queer joy and existence is an act of resistance, meaning you may encounter some not-so-lovely experiences, if you haven’t already. This can make being our true selves and living the lives we deserve incredibly challenging at times.
But not to fear, my little queer! This is a fight that has gone on longer than you have existed, and still is ongoing in our local community. You are not alone, you are not the first, and you have a community to support you, even if it doesn’t feel like it. But hey, this blog post is here to connect you with your people. Finding a community helps to combat the oppression and microaggressions that we experience on a day-to-day basis.
Find your people
Reach out to others in the community. Chances are we likely have had similar experiences, we can share resources from our own toolkits we have built to survive. Connecting with those who understand helps with validating our emotions and creates a community of support. Look to your local community supports such as Calgary Outlink for their local meet-ups, as well as groups such as Pink Flamingo and Boring Little Girls Club. Other agencies such as the Alex, Skipping Stone, and your local Pride Centre at SAMRU also have great events where you can meet others who are travelling the queer journey too. Come connect with us, we are stronger together!
Read some queer history
Nothing is better than seeing our ancestors fighting for rights. We can draw strength and lessons from knowing this history. Some great places to start are books such as “We Are Everywhere” by Leighton Brown/Matthew Reimer and “Our Past Matters, Stories Of Gay Calgary” by Kevin Allen. Comfort and validation can also be drawn from current reads such as “The Body Is Not an Apology” by Sonya Renee Taylor or “A History Of My Brief Body” by Billy Ray Belcourt.
Give yourself some love
Tell yourself the opposite of what is hurting you. Words of affirmation can help you feel more positive about yourself. Find a way to affirm yourself or your gender if you have been invalidated or hurt in the past. Reach out to others or practice incorporating self care into your weekly routine. Give yourself time to sit with your feelings, order Skip, and binge watch your favourite show with your fuzziest blanket. Know that while it may feel like the world is against you at times, there are others experiencing similar things. Your community is out there ready to connect and support you.
You might need to pull in the professionals
It is okay to feel like you are in over your head. There are many Queer and Queer-friendly counsellors to assist you with whats going on in your life. Search for Queer Calgary consellors online, reach out to friends for recommendations, or access agencies such as the Centre for Sexuality and the Skipping Stone Foundation for referalls and addional information.
Other words and actions are not a reflections of you
There are many reasons why people are homophobic or transphobic, but the common link is that it 100% has everything to do with them, and nothing to do with you. Keep shining, and keep being your best self you beautiful human.
Local Queer support resources
Us! Your friendly neighbourhood Pride Centre
Queermunity at the The Alex
And many more! If you need help navigating resources, the Pride Centre is here to help. Feel free to drop us a line on the Pride Centre discord channel once you have introduced yourself on the SAMRU discord server or send us an email.